New York Times bestselling author Sharon Cameron weaves together an extraordinary exploration of truth and memory, love and loss, and the story of a young woman who must harness an indomitable courage to save her world.
As I stated in my Instagram post, Atomic Blonde is the film that redefined sexiness for me in 2017. As someone who feels uncomfortable watching a majority of sex scenes, I finally was not. There is something comforting in this pairing of girls, and finally we have a bisexual film hero who, although overly sexualized, is badass, confident, and will take a man down. This is so important to me because it is so rarely seen, and when it is, it’s usually referenced or joked about. Her bisexuality passes naturally through the diegesis. I never had any particular feelings about Charlize Theron before this movie, but now I wonder why I slept on her so long. She was stunning for the part. Yet another admirable bit about this movie is her fashion and shoes: mostly black and white to contrast the lighting, and naturally sexual.
Although not an 80s movie, this film harkens back to the time for me with the soundtrack. Made up of Bowie & Queen, George Michael, New Order, and Depeche Mode, as well as a few of the popular German songs of the 80s, it feels vibrant and pulsing with energy. The setting and lighting bring us back to the 1980s feel, and the stunning color combinations of neon lighting give flavor to the darkness of Cold War Berlin, and give intense energy to the nightlife of a torn city. It heightens the sexual tension of the love scenes, and this is in clear contrast to the cold, clinical light of the present day and action sequences.
A killer soundtrack. A stunning, fashionable bisexual heroine. Colorful neon lighting. Bomb action sequences. Comfortable sex scenes. An 80s throwback. As one of the pull quotes I read stated: “This is the movie we need right now.” How correct it is.
I recently had the privilege to see this film on the big screen and take part in a discussion on it. Based on what was discussed, I feel it is time for a post.
This is actually the only Wes Anderson movie I have seen. And I have seen it quite a few times before the fortunate moment I previously mentioned. The first was with a person who will always remain near and dear to my heart, who always showed me very good movies. This was in 2015, after its many Oscars wins and wide release. I have lost touch in many ways with this person, and my relationship with him is strained and painful.
Which is as good of a segue as any as talking about this movie. In many ways, Grand Budapest is also about love and loss. Zero’s loss of Agatha. M. Gustave’s loss of his lady companion. Zero’s loss of M. Gustave. And, ultimately, the loss of the hotel. Many beloved and cherished people and things are lost in time throughout the film, without the characters being able to stop it.
Despite these very sad and nostalgic undertones, as Zero reminisces on all this and misses Agatha deeply, the whole film is charming and cute. In typical Wes Anderson fashion, it is colorful and dainty with delicate title cards and charming set designs that look like the confectionery marvels that come out of Mendl’s. It is a visual treat watching this pastel wonderland and its ever-changing aspect ratios to reflect different periods of time. The style is impeccable, luxurious, and the viewer years for these days much like M. Gustave does.
Not only that, but it has a charming sense of humor and wit. Ralph Fiennes and the whimsical set designs add to this, in particular. The entire film, despite its underlying sadness, is a charmer and a fun visual ride. There are so many lovely shots and lovely cinematography it was hard to pick just ten pictures.
We were happy here. For a little while. This happiness and yearning nostalgia can be captured by watching this movie over and over again.
“For my dearest darling, treasured, cherished ___ whom I worship. With respect, adoration, admiration, kisses, gratitude, best wishes, and love from A to _” ♥
Stream Raiders #1 by Sara Raasch (forthcoming, 2017) – YA novel about pirates and queer romance, and that’s literally all I know but it’s enough. *swoons*
Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz (2016) – wlw romance in which 2 girls in the same fandom meet and fall in love online. This sounds so fanfictiony, aka MY JAM EXACTLY.
The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich (forthcoming, 2017) – Two teen guys who are also SPIES have to compete for the affections of a girl for Reasons but end up falling for each other instead.
The Ghost of Buxton Manor by Jonathan L. Ferrara (2016) – A boy moves into a house (Buxton Manor, presumably) that’s haunted by a century-old gay ghost. This is some kind of Peter Pan retelling and I am SO HERE FOR IT.
27 Hours by Tristina Wright (forthcoming, 2017) – I can’t even sum up the summary, it’s just too epic and awesomely intriguing. A sci-fi thriller with space colonies and “a stellar cast of queer teenagers.” Give it to meeeee.